Just Casual Women’s Hobbies: Man-Hating

This last week at the writing group I attend, we had a visiting professional give a seminar on the “Rule of Six.” It was a great seminar with an interesting approach to creating a storyline and reaching deeper into characters. Which if anyone is interested in, I can surely do up a short article or presentation on it. What was also interesting to me was listening to the culture the women in the group supported — and it’s not a fringe culture either. So the presenter was female and surprisingly, the group isn’t like, 80% female, but probably closer to half — especially during guest weeks.

We were coming up with an example to do the Rule of Six on and she said something along the lines of, “Of course! Why can’t the man be weak and in trouble and saved by a powerful woman? It’s time.” Those weren’t necessarily her exact words, but she was very proud of empowering women by emasculating men.

On more than one occasion during the seminar, the presenter and the audience took shots at men and it wasn’t just in the context of the story. I’m not going to lie, I laughed a little when she said she was divorced considering she doesn’t seem to hold any level of respect for men. I’m of the opinion that you cannot retain a relationship with someone you have no respect for and if you earnestly have sour feelings towards the entirety of men, you are never going to have a fully meaningful relationship with any man, including a marital one.

One of the story examples that was brought up for Rules of Six was a man takes a wrong turn. After we got through creating “six reasons why” he might have taken a wrong turn, one of the older gentlemen in the audience said, “Every one of these makes men look like assholes.” The room laughed and made some joke about well, aren’t men asshole?

Throughout the 100 minute seminar, there were multiple flat out insults to men or insulations. There was a moment when she was speaking of one of her chick lit books how the husband died and how she was inspired to do it by how much she hated her ex, but then, of course, the story changed by the time she got to the death scene. She mentioned her boyfriend a few times throughout the seminar too and I have a hard time believing she has any respect for him because of the way she talks about men in general.

The last story example we developed for Rule of Six was on a spacecraft. She wanted to do a man in peril with a woman who would save him because gosh darn it, it’s time for men to be saved by women. Of course, by the time we ended developing the story, the woman was in danger. We ended up with a guy was on a spaceship because of a dare and the woman was on a suicide mission. The man had to stop the death cause it meant his own death — so really, he was in peril, but he wasn’t being saved by the woman.

And every time a shot was taken at men, it was either laughed at by the women or added on by some of the women.

Anyway, what this evening made me think about is how intrinsic man-hating is to female culture. If you look at male-centric books or movies or stories, they’re typically about defeating the bad guy, getting rich, getting the girl, becoming a better person (stronger, more courage, conquering fear, learning a skill, etc). However, if you look at women’s fiction, what is it about? Constantly one of the central themes of the stories of men wronging them, the woman wanting to murder men, etc. I thought about women’s networks. What are the most popular types of shows on LifeTime? Cheating on your spouse, murdering your spouse–I mean, SNAPPED, the show about women killing their spouses or family for no obvious reason and making excuses for it is a show featured on women’s networks. When you pick up a chick lit book, so many of them are about hating on a man.

There’s someone in my writing group who submitted the first chapter of a novel she’s working on, which is a chick lit suspense (or women’s fiction if there’s a difference) and it’s about a woman whose husband treats her badly, her sons treat her badly, she’s at the end of her rope, and she daydreams about murdering her husband.

It’s like to be part of the sisterhood, you have to hate men and I don’t really get it. Personally, I admire men greatly for what are masculine traits. I admire the risk-taking, courage, the things that men bring to the table that just aren’t common in women. That’s one of the reasons most of my characters are men — they behave in a way that women typically don’t and I admire them for it. At this point, I also admire the men that don’t hate women.

I don’t understand why women have made an enjoyable genre that is popular in the market which is all about mistreating men or man-hating. I don’t know how it’s become so mainstream to disrespect and emasculate men and act like it’s funny and entertaining. If there was an insurgence of entertainment doing the same thing to women, there would be boycotts, picketing, pushes for legislation that censors the work if it even made it to the shelf (or television).

Genuine question: why has it become so popular and acceptable to hate men?

If any of you know, please give me your theories in the comments below. As far as my opinion goes, it’s disheartening for me to hear people genuinely trash talk like this so casually. That broad swathes of the population see nothing wrong with attacking half the population for their sex. Men and women aren’t the same; we’re complementary to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. To use those strengths and weaknesses to disarm and diminish someone is dastardly and to monetize it?



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